Serbia: 0
Ireland: 0

  • Dragan Kokanovic (32)
  • Nathan Connell (10),
  • Nathan Connell (18),
  • Jamie Gill (24),
  • Nathan Connell (40)

  • Dragan Kokanovic (1/1)
  • Nathan Connell (3/4)

  • Luka Stosic,
  • Jovan Loncar,
  • Uros Ilic,
  • Dragan Kokanovic,
  • Aleksa Zivojinovic,
  • Andrej Susak,
  • Lazar Stamenkovic,
  • Aleksandar Stojanovic,
  • Vlado Jankovic,
  • Djordje Krnjeta,
  • Starhinja Stoiljkovic,
  • Luka Ilic,
  • Enis Bibic.
  • Subs: Stefan Milenkovic,
  • Veljko Djordjevic,
  • Filip Samardzic,
  • Darko Samardzic
  • Nathan Connell,
  • Ryan Walsh,
  • David Downey,
  • Tadhg Dowdall,
  • Scott Bradley,
  • Jack Crampton,
  • Louix Gorman,
  • Odhran Brannigan,
  • Xanda Rycroft,
  • Jamie Gill,
  • Ned Conroy,
  • Matthew Henry,
  • James Downes.
  • Subs: Patrick Stapleton,
  • Kyle Stacey,
  • Rory Lynch,
  • Kevin Downey

Match report

Ireland remained unbeaten following two rounds of forty minute matches against hosts Italy and Serbia to win the U19s Championship Plate, at the Pasian di Prato Stadium in Udine. The games for sides finishing fifth to seventh in the qualifying competition took place last Tuesday and today (Saturday), and Ireland coach Bernard Westerman saw his side concede only one try in four games, twice beating the Italians 30-0 and Serbia 22-6 and 42-0 to round off the Plate competition.

“I’m very proud of my guys, we stuck together and regrouped after missing out on the main tournament semi finals, they showed great character on and off the pitch to overcome that disappointment,” said Westerman. “It is a testament to the guys to return home with that shield. We are looking at player development and we found some hidden gems out there in a fantastic tournament.”

In the first round of games, Ireland fullback Nathan Connell was outstanding, crossing for four tries – including a hat trick against the Serbs - and kicking eight goals in total, with spoils shared between Italy and Serbia following young Azzuri Christopher-Kyle De Meyer’s touchline conversion which denied Serbia what would have been their first victory in the tournament.

In Round two, Ireland overcame a dogged Italian side with captain James Downes leading the charge and Louix Gorman instrumental in steering play. Italy’s wingmen Davide Saita and Fabia Dianti both showed great pace but a wall of green prevented them from capitalising on their downfield breaks.

Serbia finally did earn their inaugural win, beating Italy 12-4 in a bruising encounter. Saita was again impressive although a foot in touch denied him an early try but he was successful later as he took Filippo Bertossi’s looping pass to score in the corner. But Serbia’s robust defence and ability to capitalise on Italy’s errors proved the difference with Dragan Kokanovic and Vlado Jankovic crossing.

With the Shield already in the bag, Westerman rotated his team for their final encounter with Serbia. Gorman’s hat trick capped an impressive tournament for the Hull KR Academy product whilst Connell ended another fine performance with a brace of tries and seven more goals.

Round 1

Tuesday, 3rd September

Serbia 6
Luka Stosic 1, Jovan Loncar 2, Uros Ilic 3, Dragan Kokanovic 4, Aleksa Zivojinovic 5, Andrej Susak 6, Lazar Stamenkovic 7, Aleksandar Uros Stojanovic 8, Vlado Jankovic 9, Djordje Krnjeta 10, Starhinja Stoiljkovic 11, Luka Ilic 12, Enis Bibic 13. Interchanges: Stefan Milenkovic 17, Veljko Djordjevic 15, Filip Samardzic 15, Darko Samardzic 16.

Tries: Dragan Kokanovic (32)
Goals: Dragan Kokanovic 1/1

Ireland 22
Nathan Connell 1, Ryan Walsh 2, David Downey 3, Tadgh Downdall 11, Scott Bradley 5, Jack Crampton 6, Louix Gorman 7, Odrhan Brannigan 8, Xanda Ryecroft 9, Jamie Gill 10, Ned Conroy 18, Matthew Henry 12, James Downes 13. Interchanges: Patrick Stapleton 14, Kyle Stacey 15, Rory Lynch 16, Sean Treacy 17. 

Tries: Nathan Connell (10, 18, 40) Jamie Gill (24)
Goals: Nathan Connell 3/4